What are the pros and cons of using an online nanny site vs a nanny agency? Your greatest concerns in life revolve around your children and home. When you need some extra help at home, a nanny or babysitter, how should you go about finding the perfect one, the one just right for your family?
Should you go with a ‘do-it-yourself’ online site? Or hire a service to do the sleuthing for you. What are the pros and cons of using an online nanny agency versus a full service agency? We checked with some experts in the industry and have some pros and cons to help you decide which way is best for your family.
Complete control. An online company gives parents complete control over the process. Some parents feel that they know their needs and their family better than anyone, and want to do it all themselves.
Price. An online service is much less expensive initially than an agency. Some online companies charge only $45 per month and a Phoenix nanny agency can be anywhere from $800 to $3,500.
Candidates. There are lots of candidates to choose from. There are outstanding, experienced candidates mixed in with others. Experience levels vary greatly. For example, Care.com requires candidates to have worked in three different homes at least one time each. Most ‘brick and mortar’ agencies require a minimum of one to two years experience outside friends and family.
Convenience. Since it’s all online, a parent can do a lot of the work after hours.
Cons of an online service
Time. Initially it may seem easy and some families find a great choice quickly and move forward, but others find it confusing because there are so many nanny candidates and it takes a lot of time to review resumes, interview candidates, call references, get quality background checks, get copies of Driver’s Licenses, proof of auto insurance, First Aid, CPR certifications and validate the knowledge base of each candidate.
One family was successful, but recounts: “I found someone good but it wasn’t easy. I spent a lot of hours interviewing and checking references…hours that I didn’t have. I saved some money, but if I had it to do over, I would find an agency that does more of the work.”
Another comment was, “I didn’t realize all the stuff that ultimately fell on my plate.” And again, “I had no idea that they don’t even meet the nannies. They have a lot of resumes but I gave up after a while. It was like finding a needle in a haystack.”
Pros of a Full-Service Agency
Streamlined Hiring Process: An agency has the ability to determine your needs and send candidates for interviewing within a day or two. Judi Merlin of A Friend of the Family Staffing Corporation in Athens, Georgia, tells us that her vetting process for nannies takes 15-20 hours.
“We have found that only 1 in 10 applicants successfully complete our process,” she adds.
There for you during and after the placement. One of the most valuable benefits of going with a nanny agency is being able to work with one person who will guide you through the process. One family in the Breedlove survey stated: ” I liked being able to do a lot of the work online to save time. But I thought most of their nannies were un-hireable and I didn’t have anyone to call when I needed help.” Mimi Brady of Westside Nannies in Los Angeles tells us: “Most agencies always provide ears to listen, even after a nanny has been placed, and this can be extremely helpful in working on glitches regarding training your new nanny and miscommunications.”
Back-up help and support. If a family uses an agency, they can call for a last minute substitute sitter in case of an emergency. If a placement doesn’t work out, most agencies guarantee the placement for three months.
If you have any questions about the process of finding just the right nanny or babysitter for your family, we’re glad to help. You can give us a call at 480-946-3423 or fill out a Family Application to start your personalized search today.
Cons of a Brick and Mortar Agency
Price. It is definitely more expensive to hire a nanny or babysitter though an on-line service, but time and having a stress-free experience are more valuable to many families than the money they would save.
Loss of control. Some parents prefer to be in charge of the whole process themselves.
Pros of a Do it Yourself Website
Failure Rate. One out of three online hires results in a failed placement, according to a study by Breedlove, a nanny tax service. There is also the consideration of a failed placement and children who have grown to like a nanny or babysitter only to have them leave. There is also the fear factor of meeting a person in your home who may not be who they seem.
Each family’s budget, time constraints and priorities are what will determine the best way to go about hiring a nanny or babysitter. The bottom line for every family is the safety and well-being of their children.